Blog Profile / Andy Woodruff Cartographer

Filed Under:Arts / Information Design
Posts on Regator:12
Posts / Week:0.1
Archived Since:February 26, 2015

Blog Post Archive

Beyond the Sea, flowing and exploding edition

Last year I took a whack at mapping what you’d “see” if you looked straight across the ocean from coastlines around the world. Since then, an interactive version of that has been a back-burner idea. Well, finally, here we go. To recap, these arcs represent straight-line paths out to sea, perpendicular to the coastline at […]

The rain on terrain

If you poured water over the terrain somewhere in the world, where would it go? That’s perhaps one way to think of the thing that distracted me in the evenings this week. What we have here is more or less an animated flowy map of drainage, although it’s not a serious attempt at an accurate […]

Land by latitude and longitude, or, a pile of continents

Bill Rankin’s graphs of world population by latitude and longitude popped into mind for no particular reason the other day, followed by a silly-sounding question: “but, like, what about land area by latitude and longitude?” Silly because, duh, a chart of land area by latitude and longitude is a map. Then again, a map is […]

Hachures and sketchy relief maps

I’ve never been a terrain representation expert, but occasionally I get briefly super interested in some DIY technique for relief mapping, not using typical GIS tools or rendering software. Tom Patterson’s old (but still applicable) Photoshop tutorials were my introduction to the magic simplicity of turning a grayscale image into fancy shaded relief. Some years […]

Beyond the sea

In the northern reaches of Newfoundland, near the town of St. Anthony, is the Fox Point Lighthouse. I’ve never been there, but I know it has one of the most impressive ocean views in the world. If you face perpendicular to the right bit of rocky coastline there and gaze straight across the ocean, your […]

Ohio is still a piano

In a hundred years, no one will remember our work. Strike that, make it about five years. Digital, web-based work can break or disappear in an instant. I’ve certainly done some things which are now gone forever. Anyway, one broken thing was the crazy Ohio piano map I made nearly seven years ago, in which […]

Cartographic Summit 2016

In the official Cartographic Summit photo above, I’m the robot on the right edge who doesn’t know how to stand like a normal human. I’ve just returned from this unusual event, which was part traditional conference and part unconference, with people in attendance only by invitation. I didn’t know what to expect, but figured a […]

A guide to not being a sidewalk jerk

Hello friends. It has become apparent that you are all terrible at being pedestrians. I feel confident saying that despite some good eggs and battle-tested walkers such as New Yorkers, most Americans are obliviously selfish, inconsiderate users of sidewalk space. It’s true even in a city like mine, where a large chunk of people commute […]


Sure, whatever, a 2015 retrospective. It’s no best-of list, reflection on the mapping industry, nor quantified-self infographic. I just thought a bit about what was important in my year—mostly, themes of friends, family, health, and beer—and sketched a few things, in map form of course. So yeah, it’s personal stuff that nobody else will care about, but […]

Where to hate daylight saving time and where to love it

tl;dr version: just scroll down and play with the map. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter or really are any person in America with friends who say things, you hear it twice a year, in March and November: “LIFE IS THE WORST WHY DO WE HAVE TO CHANGE THE CLOCKS WE SHOULD GET RID OF […]

City of Angles

INT. APARTMENT IN CAMBRIDGE MASS Andy is being yelled at by someone less familiar with the region for never mentioning (apparently in an act of deliberate deception) that the area across the river from his home is part of Boston. You see, he always refers to it by its neighborhood name, Allston, which made it [...]

How to make a value-by-alpha map

Last week, Josh Stevens published a superb how-to guide for making bivariate choropleth maps, something not directly supported in most GIS applications. Go read it. I’ll wait here. Josh included a mention of value-by-alpha maps, a pet technique of some colleagues and me. It boils down to a specific type of bivariate choropleth map, in [...]

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